Submitted by: Anonymous on 2/11/2017
Having found that tandem kayaks are more of a pain than a pleasure, my wife and I decided to purchase two single yaks. West Marine was running a sale, so we opted for both the Bahama 10.5 (for me) and the 9.5 (for her). She felt that the smaller kayak would be easier for her to transport since it is both shorter and lighter, notwithstanding the fact that longer kayaks tend to offer better speed and tracking.
Buying new from West Marine was attractive because we had the option to return the product if it did not handle well. It is always very risky to buy a new or used yak without testing it first -- even name brands often have tracking issues. Anyway, both kayaks paddled well, so they are keepers.
I should note that I am tall and thin (6-3 and 175), and I fit nicely in either kayak. However, as I suspected, the 10.5 does track a bit better (less back and forth wiggle that you get with shorter boats) and does seem a bit faster. Since I will be using the kayak for fishing as well, the built-in anchor trolley on the 10.5 almost alone justifies the $50 price difference. FYI, both kayaks are Perception Sound models that have been re-branded by West Marine, though Perception added the anchor trolley for the Bahama 10.5.
Having now used the kayak several times on the Florida Intracoastal, I can say that I am very pleased with the tracking, even in choppy waters. Because the boats have relatively wide and flat hulls to facilitate fishing and stability, they will not be as fast as longer and narrower kayaks. However, I think they cruise fairly well, so the trade-off is worth it for me.
One thing that makes these boats so nice for fishing is the large, flat open storage area in the stern. I find it very easy to insert a large cooler between the bungee cord as a fish depository and additional storage pocket. That storage area is larger on the 10.5 model, but is still fairly accommodating on the 9.5 as well.
I do have a few minor quibbles, however. The two built-in rod holders are both wide and shallow, which is worrisome -- there seems to be no reason why they could not have been made a couple of inches deeper.. Also the kayaks definitely should have come with bungee paddle keepers and an anchor cleat. The cost would have been miniscule, and it is an inconvenience to have to add them. Come on, guys!
Submitted by: Anonymous on 9/18/2014
My full review of the boat is on my site at